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To install and run Spybot Search and Destroy:

Step 1. Spybot can be downloaded from many locations, however the official site is http://www.safer-networking.org/. If you chose Save when you were prompted by the File Download window, locate the icon for the Spybot – Search & Destroy setup file. Normally, it can be found right on your desktop. The filename is spybotsd14.exe. If you saved the file to a different folder, open that folder and click the Spybot – Search & Destroy setup file icon.

If you chose Open when you were prompted, the setup program already should have started running once the download was complete. You can proceed directly to Step 2.

Step 2. Once you choose your installation language, you should be looking at the first window of the installation process. At this point, you may want to close any other applications running on your computer. Once you’re ready, click the Next button to continue.

Step 3. The next screen is the end-user license agreement (EULA). It’s always important to read these agreements before installing any piece of software–don’t let the legalese frighten you. When you’re ready to continue, click I accept the agreement and click the Next button.

Step 4. This screen allows you to choose the folder where the program will install. Normally, you don’t need to change anything here. If you’d like to install the program to a different folder than the default location, click the Browse button and select a new destination directory. Otherwise, click the Next button.

Step 5. On this screen you can select additional components for your Spybot – Search & Destroy installation. Be sure to check the box labeled “Download Updates Immediately”, then hit Next.

Step 6. This screen lets you decide whether you want the installer to place shortcuts in your Start menu folder. We would recommend this option for easy access. When you’re done, hit Next.

Step 7. This screen contains a couple of additional protection programs that are unnecessary. Click next twice to finish the installation.

Running Spybot

The first time Spybot runs, it will bring up a configuration wizard. Follow the instructions, making sure to “Search for updates”, and then “Download all available Updates”.

Spybot S&D Wizard

“Immunizing the System” will prevent some Spyware from causing trouble, so press the button for that, as well. Finally, click the button labeled “Start Using the Program”.

From the main screen, check the button labeled “Check for Problems”. This will start the Spyware scan. Depending on the speed of your machine and the level of spyware, it can take up to half an hour to finish.

Spybot search screen

Once the scan has finished, it will bring up a results page. Click the button labeled “Fix Selected Problems” to finish.

Spybot problems screen

In some cases it will ask you if you would like to run Spybot the next time the computer boots up. Click Yes, and reboot the machine the next time it is convenient.

Spybot should be run approximately once every other week or so. A good time to do is during the lunch hour. Be sure to update it every time you run it, by clicking the update button on the left hand side of the window, then clicking “Search for Updates”, checking the boxes (if applicable) and clicking on “Download Updates”.

Spybot update screen

After it is done updating, Spybot can be run using the above instructions.


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